CANCELLATION ANNOUNCEMENT BY
PRESIDENT GENERAL JACK MANNING
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly presented challenges and cancellations this year. Regretfully, the Executive Committee, pursuant to the authority granted to it by the April 17, 2020 ballot vote of the Board of Trustees, has concluded that the 2020 Annual Congress, originally scheduled for Richmond, Virginia, must be canceled. The Executive Committee waited as long as possible to see how Virginia’s, and more specifically Richmond’s, reopening plans would impact the Annual Congress. The continuing restrictions enacted by governmental authorities concerning meetings, dining and travel, as well as the health and safety of our membership, has led the Executive Committee to conclude that holding the Annual Congress in Richmond is not possible. The Richmond Marriott, the designated Annual Congress hotel, has been informed that the Congress contract is terminated due to impossibility.
The Executive Committee understands that many State Societies and Chapters have conducted successful meetings electronically during this pandemic. The Executive Committee fully supports these efforts and encourages other State Societies and Chapters to use alternative means to continue the local recognition of our Patriot ancestors, especially as the calendar moves closer to the Fourth of July. The Executive Committee, meeting weekly since March 20, 2020, and Congress Planning Committee Chairman Paul Callanan, devoted considerable effort to researching whether a “virtual” or “Zoom” Congress would be feasible. However, Bylaw No. 17 of the Bylaws of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution does not permit the National Society to hold a Congress by “alternative means.” Therefore, the Executive Committee has reached the conclusion that there will be no Annual Congress held in 2020. This is not only consistent with what other similar organizations, such as the American Legion, have determined this year, but with our own precedent concerning both the 1918 and 1945 Annual Congresses.
No Annual Congress means there will be no election for General Officers, Vice Presidents General, Trustees, or Alternate Trustees in 2020. Pursuant to the National Society’s bylaws, the current General Officers, Vice Presidents General, Trustees, and Alternate Trustees will continue in their present positions until July 2021.
What does this mean for Districts and State Societies? As the Vice President General, Trustee and Alternate Trustee are National Society offices, the presently serving individuals will remain in office. Vacancies in these positions may be filled according to the National Society’s governing documents, however, because no election will be held in 2020, any individual filling a vacancy will not be a member of the Board of Trustees unless elected to such at the July 2019 Congress.
What does this mean for General Officer candidates? As there will be no elections in 2020, all individuals wishing to run for General Office will be required to seek nomination through the normal nominating procedure. Candidates for National Office will be permitted to announce their candidacy ten days after the 2020 Annual Congress would have ended (Saturday, July 25, 2020).
What does this mean for National Committees? Committee Chairs should submit their annual report by no later than July 1, 2020. The National Society will publish an electronic report book, available to all members on Share file, detailing the General Officer and Committee operations for 2019-2020, by the end of July 2020. Committees wishing to meet during the summer should reach out to either their General Officer liaison or the Executive Director.
What does this mean for my hotel reservation in Richmond? Congress Planning Chairman Callanan will handle canceling room reservations which are part of the SAR “block.” The Richmond Marriott or the Richmond Hilton will send out a cancelation verification email on or after June 1, 2020. If you made your own reservation using Marriott BonVoy, Hilton Honors, another travel program or made reservations using a discounted rate (e.g. military, government, AAA, etc.), you must cancel your own reservation. Questions, concerns, difficulties with the hotel may be referred to Chairman Callanan (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will help work the issue.
As with all of you, Sheila and I enjoy attending the Annual Congress to see our friends, participate in the youth competitions, and enjoy the fellowship with our compatriots and family. The members of the Executive Committee feel the same. Notwithstanding canceling the Annual Congress is the correct decision based on the factors outlined above. It is certainly my goal to continue moving the Sons of the American Revolution forward during the coming year. More details will be disseminated as they become available. I urge all trustees and alternate trustees to attend the virtual Trustees meeting scheduled for May 30, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
National Society Sons of the American Revolution
PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS TO THE VIRGINIA SOCIETY UPON THE CANCELLATION OF THE RICHMOND CONGRESS
As many of you already know, our National Society’s Executive Committee has decided that there will not be a physical 2020 Congress in Richmond. This decision protects our compatriots from the danger posed by this pandemic, and reflects the uncertainty of future pandemic restrictions by several layers of government.
This is an appropriate time to give thanks to the many compatriots and family members who worked hard on making the Richmond Congress a success: those who participated in organization and planning, financially supported this effort, or volunteered to serve during the Congress. Your willingness to serve and your efforts would have made this a memorable Congress. Thank you very much.
Now is a good time to focus on what does lie ahead. The pandemic is with us, and we must not be deterred by it in our efforts to keep alive and spread the Spirit of 1776; and to continue our original purpose in helping reunite a divided country, needed today just as much as it was in 1890. Take advantage of the ability to hold our ceremonies and conduct our business online. Then, as we begin again to do these things in physical meetings, be sure to protect each other, and follow the current guidelines to the best of your ability.
Thanks again to each of you who have participated in our preparations for the Richmond Congress. Keep in mind that we have a strategic goal of hosting the 2031 Congress, called by Chancellor Eric Monday the “Victory Congress”, to celebrate victory at Yorktown. I pray that God bless our great country, and bless each of you, and yours, with good health and prosperity in these difficult times.
William L. Schwetke
President, Virginia SAR
Roger Cross, Chapter President,, presented a Certificate and a check for $150 to Jena Naswadi, Principal of the Lower School of Walsingham Academy on May 27, 2020. The certificate and check was for Alayna DeLaGarza, the 1st Place winner in this year’s Sgt. Moses Adams Memorial Middle School Brochure Contest. Her winning entry will be submitted to the VASSAR competition.
The contest was open to all students in grades 6 through 9 in James City County/ Williamsburg. Entrants could choose from five Foundational Documents of the United States – Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Federalist Papers – as the theme for their brochure. This contest was organized and conducted by Compatriot Paul Huchko, chairman of Chapter Youth Programs.
Submitted by: Harley Stewart
On 22 May 2020, the National Cemetery in Winchester held a commemoration ceremony for Memorial Day. Participants included the Colonel James Wood II Chapter, Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution; The American Red Cross, VFW Chapter 2123, The Northern Shenandoah Valley Community Veterans Engagement Board; and Heroes on the River. The ceremony was held to honor Americans who died in the military service of their country. There were brief remarks, a moment of silence, the playing of taps and presentation of wreaths.
Pictured with the wreaths are Ashley Moslak, Marc Robinson, Adam Packham and Ralph Hensley. In the 2nd picture are participating members of the Sons of the American Revolution. Chip Daniel, Clay Robinson, Dale Corey, Nathan Poe, Brett osborn, Eric Robinson, Sean Carrigan, Marc Robinson & Paul Christensen.
Submitted by Dale Corey
On 17 May 2020, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter had a musket workshop for members and potential members of the organization. The attendees were taught safety, commands, proper positioning, firing sequence & etiquette when participating as a member of a Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard and Musket Squad. Instructors were Marc Robinson, Commander, Colonel James Wood II Chapter Color Guard and Brett Osborn, Virginia State 2019 Color Guardsman of the Year. The program began with a lesson in safety. Next appropriate commands and firing sequence were discussed. Then individuals were given the opportunity to go through the commands and firing sequence to fire. The next step was to divide into 2 sections for individual instruction. After an hour of working through the processes required, the individuals were brought together as a squad and performed a musket firing of three rounds as if in a formal ceremony. This workshop allowed two of the individuals to gain certification to participate in official ceremonies. Attending the workshop were Marc Robinson, Brett Osborn, Dale Corey, Eric Robinson, Sean Carrigan, Clay Robinson, Chip Daniel and Erick Moore.
Submitted by Dale Corey
On 13 May 2020, James Wood High School held a graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 Due to current restrictions, the ceremony was held virtually through a video presentation of the normal ceremony, without an audience. This included the Colonel James Wood II Chapter presenting the colors and a traditional firing of a cannon to honor the graduates.
Submitted by Dale Corey
26 APR 2020 ONLINE
This afternoon the Virginia SAR Executive Committee met with 22 of our Chapter Presidents to provide an update on State-wide issues, answer questions, and encourage sharing of ideas. State Registrar Bill Haskins also joined the meeting. Similar meetings are scheduled every two months to increase the flow of information to and from chapters. The meeting was conducted via Zoom.
Items discussed included:
The next meeting of this group will be mid to late June at which we hope all chapters will be represented. These meetings are not a response to the pandemic restrictions, but an effort to increase communication to the benefit of our chapters.
Virginia Children of the American Revolution Society President-Elect Catie Wasenko has announced her project with the flyer below. Your support for this worthy endeavor is encouraged.
22 Apr 2020 Rapidan, VA
Culpeper Minutemen Chapter President Charles Jameson and Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke visited the Virginia Mist Quarry in Rapidan on Wednesday afternoon to inspect the twenty-ton granite boulder being donated by Virginia Mist Group, Inc. for the Culpeper Minutemen Monument being constructed in Culpeper's Yowell Meadow Park near where the Culpeper Minutemen mustered in 1775. Jameson and Schwetke will return next week with Culpeper City Councilman and compatriot Keith Price, and Gary Cole of the Culpeper Department of Planning and Community Development to make decisions on the cutting and polishing of the boulder.
The flag poles for the monument were received by the Town of Culpeper three weeks ago and preparation of the ground for the monument is scheduled to begin on May 1st. This monument is being made possible by a generous contribution from the Virginia SAR Knight-Patty Fund, the Town of Culpeper, the Culpeper Minute Men Chapter DAR and the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter SAR, which conceived, provided initial funding, and is overseeing construction of the monument. In 2018 Foundation Forward, Inc. committed to contribute the "Charters of Freedom" addition to the monument, so that the monument now reflects both the efforts of our patriotic ancestors and the results of their sacrifices.
We are on track to dedicate the combined Culpeper Minutemen and Charters of Freedom Monument on October 24th as a Virginia SAR Presidential Initiative, to which all chapters are invited to present their chapter wreaths.
UPDATE - 6 MAY 2020
Today Culpeper Minutemen President Charles Jameson led a group of three chapter members, including Culpeper Town Councilman Keith Price and Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke to the Virginia Mist Quarry to make decisions on the cutting of the granite boulder for the Culpeper Minutemen Memorial. They were joined by Gary Cole of the Culpeper Department of Planning and Community Development and Daniele Treves and Gibran Medina of Virginia Mist. A different, smaller boulder was selected to better fit the scale of the monument and a cutting plan was developed.
These are the words of Patrick Henry on March 23rd, 1775, accurately telling the 2nd Virginia Convention delegates assembled in Richmond's St. John's Church that war with Britain was inevitable. Those sounds, which rang out 245 years ago this morning, were not heard in Virginia until April 29th, but they would bring life to Henry's famous words and help propel Virginia into a struggle for "Liberty or Death". I recommend to you this morning The Virtual Voice of Historic St. John's Church and the linked YouTube discussion with Dr. John Ragosta.
From President General Jack Manning
On this day in history, April 12, 1776, North Carolina is the first state to call for independence from Great Britain. Her Provincial Congress, meeting at Halifax, North Carolina, passed a resolution that has come to be known as the Halifax Resolves. In the document, the Congress instructs its representatives to the Continental Congress to vote for independence if the other colonies agree to do so. The resolution does not instruct them to introduce a resolution for independence to the Congress, but to vote in the affirmative if the other colonies agree to it.
North Carolina was a hotbed of rebellion against royal authority from the beginning of tensions with England. North Carolina was the site of the "War of the Regulation," a conflict that lasted from 1760 to 1771. This "war" was an effort of poor western farmers to remove corrupt officials in the more prosperous east who were oppressing them with high taxes. The movement was finally defeated at the Battle of Alamance in 1771.
After the Boston Tea Party, the women of Edenton, North Carolina joined in a compact to boycott tea, the first political resistance organized by women in the colonies. The first North Carolina Provincial Congress met in 1774 and elected members to attend the Continental Congress. The second Provincial Congress met the next year, causing Royal Governor Josiah Martin to dissolve the official assembly.
North Carolina was the site of an early invasion attempt by the British in 1776, but the attempt failed when a large group of Loyalists were defeated at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. The Halifax Resolves were adopted less than a month later on April 12. In July, after Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed a formal vote for independence to the Continental Congress, North Carolina's representatives, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper and Lyman Hall, voted for independence in accordance with their instructions in the Resolves. In the same month, Governor Martin fled with the attempted British invasion fleet, bringing royal rule to an end in North Carolina.
North Carolina remained free from fighting with the British for the next several years as the fighting was concentrated in the north. During this time, however, she was involved in numerous battles with Indian tribes allied with the British to the west. In the latter half of the war, the fighting moved south and North Carolina saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war. After the crucial Battle of Guilford Courthouse, British General Charles Cornwallis wrote, "I never saw such fighting... the Americans fought like demons."
Though the battle was won by the British, Cornwallis' troops were worn out and ill-supplied after a year of chasing the Continental Army through the state. The Battle of Guilford Courthouse finally broke his strength and Cornwallis was forced to flee to the coast for reinforcements, where he was trapped at Yorktown, Virginia and forced to surrender, bringing about the end of the American Revolution.
National Society Sons of the American Revolution